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News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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Nelson Mandela 20, Us 14, Detroit 5, Spiriva 5, United States 5, Obama 4, Jared Bernstein 3, Arkansas 3, Dylan Dreyer 3, Joe Biden 3, Matt Cartwright 3, Pennsylvania 3, America 3, Nestle 3, Copd 3, Geico 3, Warfarin 3, Africa 2, Mandela 2, Johannesburg 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    December 6, 2013
    8:00 - 9:01am PST  

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equality, seer of light in the darkness, father of a country and hero of a world. remembrances, tributes from all corners of the world today for one of the great leaders of our time. i'm thomas roberts. we'll have special coverage of mandela's life and legacy he leaves behind including a report from south africa specelebratin the leader. >> he spent 27 years in prison. to the people of south africa what freedom means. >> from argentina to ireland to denmark, his death is front page news across the world. president obama met mandela just once but says he will forever strive to walk in his footprint. >> i am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from nelson mandela's life.
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like so many around the globe, i cannot fully imagine my life without the example mandela set. and so long as i live, i will do what i can to learn from him. >> today we look not only at how mandela is being remembered but also reflect on how his life's mission will be carried forward. >> often when some great man dies, we say we have to wait the judgment of history. i don't think we have to in his case. we start with michelle kosinski. as i understand the crowd has been gathering because the news of madiba's death came so late in the day. explain how you have seen the crowd swell. >> reporter: right. it's just incredible. it has been hundreds upon hundreds of people not stopping for a moment since last night. and people aren't staying all day. they're constantly moving through. so that tells you how many
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people might have come through here. possibly tens of thousands at this point. and i like that clip you used from mandela's own speech where he mentioned the word harmony. i think that's a good word to describe o what we're seeing here. we've seen young and very old, black and white, interracial couples and families coming out here to do what they can. also the harmony and the singing. almost nonstop. i would say it has been nonstop. i can still hear it now. these deep resonating sounds. today south africa's president announced that sunday will be a national day of prayer and people are encouraged to have their own gatherings at home. then the first really big public event will be a memorial service in a stadium here in johannesburg on tuesday followed by the state funeral on the 15th in mandela's remote hometown of
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kunu in the hills of the places he would run and play as a child. i think the mood out here in mournful especially this morning. we saw a lot of people crying and hugging. but now it's more celebratory. and there's ban lot of music. we just saw the national youth orchestra out here playing some great music for the crowd. other people are coming out, they've made food at home and they brought it out here to distribute. some people have brought cameras to take pictures and give pictures away to people. so it's really an interesting scene. quite a mix of people and emotions today, thomas. >> michelle kosinski in johannesburg for us. thanks so much. i want to bring into the conversation now the reverend al sharpton host of "politicsnation" here on msnbc and charlayne hunter-gault who lived in south africa for many years as a journalist. it's lovely to have you assembled at the same place to talk about this. rev, i want to start with you. we look at the celebration and the remembrances that are taking
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place in johannesburjohannesbur. i landed on the birthday of nelson mandela when he turned 95. that was an international day. july 18th certainly throughout south africa where people are supposed to remember their charitable contributions to the world and take up causes. but what do you remember about how you knew nelson mandela as a young man and the man he transitioned into? >> you know, i started when i was a teenager. in fact, charlayne wrote the first piece. >> i raised him. >> i was 16. and when i started in what was after dr. king's time in the civil rights and started hearing about what's going on in south africa, some of the leaders of sclc and others would go. it was considered a terrorist far left kind of course. and it was shunned. people would not discuss it in proper mainstream politics. and mandela was considered
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somebody who was an extreme cause that was in jail and you would see after awhile it evolved into a movement. but it was -- if it had not been for the randall robinsons and the maxine waters and the others that paid a price that built up a movement, a movement of civil disobedience long before it became a cause and started pushing for sanctions and getting artisan athletes to boycott. had it not been because of that movement, it never would have became the movement it was in the united states. >> the national credibility that was lent to it by having those names you mentioned. and charlayne, as you have covered as a journalist, as an activist, you have known nelson mandela since he has been out of prison. and we know that experience certainly like it would for anybody, it changed him.
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what people don't understand is how important he was during that time to the peaceful transition that it was when he came out and then the success it was to see him elected as south africa's first black president. >> i know you have so many personal stories but one is at that time right before he was elected or after he was and you said you couldn't go to the inauguration? >> right. this was my second time in his presence. and i couldn't get to -- third time actually. i saw him when he was here in america. but my son was graduating from emory university. and i said to almost-president mandela i was so sorry i couldn't be at the inauguration. i mean, i had worked toward this all my career. but i'd worked toward my son's graduation, you know. and he was like -- he became the father as opposed to the almost president and leaned into him and his whole demeanor changed
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and he said, well, of course you have to be there. you can interview me any time. i said can i take you up on that. >> and you certainly did. explain for everybody who zelda was in his life. >> she was an african woman. he reached into the african community and had zelda as one of his principle gate keepers. and she kept the gate, i'm telling you. i mean, to some of our dismay. but that was another concrete commitment to reconciliation. he put his money where his mouth was. >> so in 2004, a lot of us will recognize the fact that mandela left public life and certainly over the last year we have all been hearing about the health
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concerns that were troubled him in his final days. but how do you think, rev, that his passing and as we look at the celebration we remember the legacy. we remember the transformation of this man that can help raise up the questions that still exist of equality today. not only in south africa, but internationally as an example. >> i think that it will bring us to a point in the middle of all of our celebrating and remember his legacy, i think that clear voices must say but now let us deal with mandela and madiba as he's affectionately called. why is he given all of this admiration? why the celebration? we don't remember the wealthiest or the most politically correct guy in south africa. we remember him. why? it's those qualities and values we must strive for. if using the president's term we should use this as a teaching moment.
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otherwise we do a disservice to him and to ourselves. >> as we look at the complexities of south africa and knowing that it is this new nation that is looking to rise up to the call of what mandela, the road map he has laid before with this progressive constitution. and as we here in the states try to live up to the constitution that our forefathers left for us, we still aspire to that. so how do you think the complex and complicated society of south africa today is transforming itself to live up to this road map that its left behind? >> that's the nature of democracy. it's a work in progress. and south africa, we see it as the largest economy, second largest economy on the continent. but it's a young democracy. it's taking those baby steps. it'll only be 20 years in 2014 that it has been a democracy. now, that doesn't mean that you forgive some of the missteps, but you go in there and work on
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them and find people who can hold people accountable. and i think that's where it's important for that country as well as in the countries relating to mandela to relate to his country and to help them realize the life of mandela. now it's up to those who are celebrating him today to tomorrow realize that dream, help realize that dream. >> great leadership is all about casting the vision. calling people to rise up to be better than they know how to be. certainly as you point out, that road map, the blueprint, it's there. charlayne hunter-gault, reverend al sharpton, great to see you. among those reacting to mandela's death is muhammad ali. he said he was a spirit born free destined to soar above the rainbows. today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. he is now forever free.
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oprah winfrey releasing the statement saying he's everything you ever heard and unscathed by bitterness. and he always loved to tell a good joke. and paul simon said, he conceived a model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through compassion to rebuild a nation based on truth, justice, and the power of forgiveness. we'll have special coverage throughout this how. and we'll go to the white house and explore the special connection between mandela and president obama. then on to capitol hill where senator leahy was there in the 1990s. then i'll be joined by martin luther king iii. and we want to use today's question for you and get your thoughts for nelson mandela. how will you remember him and his legacy?
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coming up next, we're getting into other big headlines of the day. backing up president obama as he looks to resell his signature legislation. joining our conversation, one of the members of that strike team matt cartwright. and that new jobs report. it's just out today showing unemployment falling to a five-year low. but republicans on the hill still not 100% happy about it. we'll explain. stay with us. hi honey, did you get the toaster cozy? yep. got all the cozies. [ grandma ] with new fedex one rate, i could fill a box and ship it for one flat rate. so i knit until it was full. you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
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. so the deadlines getting kored by obama care by the first is rapidly approaching. for uninsured americans to select a health plan and get
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care at healthcare.gov. as part of this week's ramped up pr push, the president sat down with our own chris matthews where he addressed the signature legislation. >> there's a specific challenge that we've got, and that is a congress and this city, washington, that is gridlocked and spends too much time worrying about the next election and not enough time worrying about the next generation. >> before this week's pr push kicked off, the white house assembled a democratic strike team to promote the aca and engage that next generation. joining me now matt cartwright. it's good to have you here. we know the president has focused on a different advantage of the aca each day this week. how would you describe the game plan going forth. what are the marching orders from the white house for you? >> i think marching orders is probably too strong a phrase.
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this is a group that i'm so glad to be a part of. it's a group that we're already out there talking about the health care reform. i think the reason they put me on it, thomas, was that i've been doing town halls in northeastern pennsylvania talking about the aca, talking about its advantages. talking about some of its issues. and trying to dispel some of the nasty, negative myths that were spread and put out by the folks who opposed it all along. my approach has been be open and honest about it and nobody expects it to go off without a hitch. something this big isn't going to go off without a hitch. and anybody who ever thought it was really isn't living in the real world. >> sir, there have been certain parts obviously there have been myths that have been provided by the right, but there have been stumbling blocks that have been self-ism posed in the rollout
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itself. maybe the intellectual dishonesty of the gop talking points have been putting out there. but if we look at politico and they have an article suggesting that a worst case scenario would be the possibility would be the number of uninsured americans goes up instead of down. and even in small number of people who can't replace their coverage and end up uninsured on january 1st would send obama care back into pr hell. it was a small percent, 5% in this country getting purged off their insurance carriers because of being on plans that were unacceptable to the bottom line foundation of the aca. so if january 1st rolls around and as politico points out that those people exist as uninsured and problematic, is that another pr problem? >> i think you're dealing in large part in semantics there, thomas. because a lot of those people,
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they did have policies that didn't meet the minimum standards. that's just not a theoretical discussion. there's a reason you have minimum standards. there are people out there who have insurance that's an illusion. they have annual and lifetime caps. there's so many people out there with what i call phony insurance policies and the fact that they're going to lose those policies sooner or later i think is a good thing. because what we're up to here is we are strengthening the health care system in this country. we're strengthening the hospitals that end up eating all of that uninsured care that they end up doling out. in northeastern pennsylvania, we've lost two hospitals in the last years. they've season circling the drain because of the uninsured care. >> the people with the junk
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insurance policies that they only find out is unacceptable when they try to get coverage that they need. but as you say this is just semantics in certain language. but for certain americans, this is down right people that are going to find out that they have this problem come january the 1st. but i do want to point out that there is an improvement and have been many improvements to the website at this point now that we've got consumer reports praising what i call the useful new browsing feature. saying it works perfectly. so what kind of feedback are you getting in pennsylvania specifically because that is a state that does have to rely on the federal website. >> first i would say that's probably the biggest and most important feature of the website other than that it is working now, is that you can compare apples to apples. you know, we've had since i think 1940 this mccarron-ferguson law that
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allows insurance companies under the anti-trust laws. it suppresses competition. what the aca does is enhances competition because you can see policies stacked up right against each other. that is a wonderful thing. what am i hearing from the folks in my district? the people who are uninsured, the people who have pre-existing conditions in pennsylvania alone, you know, we have 2.4 million people with pre-existing conditions. these are the winners in this whole situation. i was talking to a gentleman who has age onset diabetes. and he told me because of that, you know, it wasn't because he was obese. he was not. he was just age onset diabetic. it was costing him $1800 a month to have health care coverage. he said he looked into it, that was more than people with pacemakers. and so under the new system, he's not discriminated against because of his age onset
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diabetes. and he pays a much more reasonable rate. >> pennsylvania congressman matt cartwright, thanks so much. programming note i want to pass along. if you missed the sit-down interview with president obama, it's going to re-air today on msnbc. the snow, the ice, the below zero temperatures. coming up, dylan dreyer is going to join me from arkansas just one of the states getting this blast of december winter. wait until you see it. and these new job numbers show unemployment at a five-year low. what impact could this have on congress with the budget deadline creeping up? we'll explore it. [ female announcer ] ladies and gentlemen i'm here to say a few words about the power of baking stuff with nestle toll house morsels. you can heal a broken heart with a bundt cake. make a monday mornin' feel like a friday afternoon with some nestle toll house morsels. let's close our laptops and open our ovens. these things don't bake themselves.
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south stretching from texas to ohio, hundreds of flights have already been delayed. hundreds of thousands are without power. and travel on the roads, it's treacherous to say the least. dylan dreyer is in portsmith, arkansas, where it's coming down. >> reporter: we have changed over to snow. the snow is now accumulating on top of the half inch of ice accumulation from yesterday's and last night's freezing rain. some areas across arkansas ended up with an inch to an inch and a quarter of ice. some of the trees and power lines have come down. all across parts of the south up into the midwest, we have hundreds of thousands of people without power. and with temperatures expected to drop down into the single digits and teens in the hardest hit areas, mother nature is not going to help the crews out there trying to restore power. we also have thousands of flight
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cancellations, especially into and out of dallas airport. but as we go through the next couple of days, it's actually going to take until about wednesday before temperatures get above freezing. and on top of that, we are keeping an eye on another storm for sunday. not so much right in this area, but just to the east. so still looking at some pretty rough conditions across parts of eastern arkansas into western tennessee and western kentucky on sunday. and that could make things much worse before they ever get better. back to you. >> nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. thanks. coming up, we are going to return to our special coverage on the death of nelson mandela. we go to the white house where president obama paid tribute last night. and i'll speak to senator leahy who met mandela while serving in congress. stay with us. ♪ and ah, so you can see like right here i can just... you know, check my policy here, add a car,
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mandela came up on the stage to take the oath of office and to give his inaugural address. what i will never forget were the four generals of the south african defense force that led him up as a guard of honor i was stunned seeing that in south africa. the military power of the state giving its legions to their new president who happens to be black. and i said this is something i never thought i would see. >> he taught us that the power of forgiveness is greater than the power of hate and the differences of race and nationality matter less than our shared humanity. >> beautiful thoughts there form secretary of state colin paul and madeline albright moments ago sharing their remembrances of nelson mandela. flags are lowered to half staff through monday in honor of mandela.
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the president took a moment to honor the former leader. >> embodied the courage and sought to bring about justice not only in south africa, but i think to inspire millions around the world. >> joining me now white house correspondent peter alexander. we learned earlier of mandela's funeral and the remembrances scheduled for this. but the state service on the 15th, do we know if the president's going to attend? >> we do know that the president intends to travel to south africa, thomas. the decisions are still being made by this white house in exactly what form that will take. it's likely the president will go in and out in sort of the shortest possible form. as has been the past for the white house is often not to get in the way of the events taking place, but it's also important for president obama to be able to reflect on and celebrate the life of nelson mandela. the president's path has largely
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been shaped by mandela's life story as well. though the two only had one face-to-face meeting. one that took place in 2005 at a hotel here in d.c. their relationship really transcended that. these are two men who are compared for a variety of reasons but the president has said privately and publicly that he felt the sacrifice he's experienced is nothing by comparison of nelson mandela. but it was mandela's fight for racial justice that really inspired the president's first public step into political action in 1979 where he made his first remarks at an anti-apartheid rally. the photo of that day in 2005 where the two men met, their only meeting, has for years sat on the desk in nelson mandela's office, and it also sits on the desk in the president's office here in the oval office. >> peter alexander in washington for us. thanks so much. appreciate it.
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members of congress are remembering the times mandela visited capitol hill. these pictures are from his address to congress in 1990. mandela thanked the united states for its support and asked for it to continue in the post-apartheid era. >> you have given us the power to join hands with all people of conscience to fight for the victory of democracy and human rights. throughout the world. >> joining me now is democratic senator patrick leahy of vermont. thanks for making time for me. you first met mandela in 1994. one of them you took yourself. describe for us the atmosphere in that meeting, what it was like for you, and also what it was like for mandela to visit congress, what that meant to our heritage here as we try to live up to the constitution that's been set by our forefathers.
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>> you know, i'm afraid that sometimes we become be blaze. that was not the case with mandela. no matter where they were from were moved by him being there. and i know when i talked with him, i was struck so much by something he said. i mentioned the fact that he'd been in prison for so long, i said why aren't you bitter. he said patrick, because i was in prison all those years, i was able to lead my country out of apartheid. he said i'm not bitter. i rejoice. i have never forgeten that moment. it's one of the most moving things i've ever heard from anybody in public or private life. >> as a politician and mandela is certainly remembered as a skillful politician, but as someone in your shoes, how does
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that enhance or how does that contribute to the way that you think, the way you process his experience and what the experience is for certain americans here in this country as we still have issues with trying to balance equality and things that are forefathers laid out for all of us to live up to. >> i think his optimistic feeling and the fact he was doing this for his country, not for himself. we have too many leaders who seem to be put a cult around themselves. he was always talking about his country. you showed a picture i took of him at a lunch we were having, everybody was moved by the fact that he spoke of everybody else. it wasn't about him. it was what he could do for everybody else. and that's the photograph i took. you know, everybody was moved by that. we should have more leaders around the world to do something like that. i'm glad he lived as long as he
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did to see and have people throughout the world see what a leader can do if they care more about their people than they do about themselves. and he was that way. it came across. each time i met him, i'd walk away moved and thrilled and inspired. >> it certainly seems he was a man that could recognize success that he had had in his life. that had come from certain tragedies. but he seemed to embrace the recovery of his failures more. >> i think you're right. i think you stated very, very well. and the fact that he could do that, we use a cliche this is giant and so on. in this case, it's not a cliche. he truly is a giant and is one who will be recognized in history as such. and i am glad to see all the tributes that are coming in
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around the world for him. because people aren't doing lip service. they really mean it. because he deserved it. i know our son-in-law who is a photographer at the white house had a chance to meet him when he was there. he was so moved by that meeting. i don't know anybody who hasn't been moved in meeting nelson mandela. >> senator patrick leahy, thank you for taking time to share your experiences and your personal photos there. it's much appreciated. >> thank you very much. so new job numbers. they have come out. they show unemployment now at a five-year low. why republicans in congress are still unable to celebrate about it. and senator rand paul will pay a visit to detroit today. he says he's got a plan to rescue cities like the motor city from financial ruin. i'm going to get into both those topics next with jared bernstein former economic adviser to joe biden. we're back after this 37
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all right. so the november jobs report is in. there is good news. with two strong months in a row, the economy is headed in the right direction. last month the economy added 203,000 jobs exceeding expectations and just 1,000 jobs shy of the amount created in october. even more good news, the unemployment rate fell by three points to 7%. that's the lowest in five years. as we look at wall street's reaction right now, we see green arrows across the board with the dow jones up by some 150 points. joining me now is jared bernstein former chief economist for joe biden. as we take a closer look at the numbers we drill down with the exception of the asian community, they are down for every racial group especially for african-americans. and when we break it down by age and gender, adult men and women, especially teens, they appear to be struggling less to find those jobs out there. what's your first reaction to this report and what it means on the grander scale?
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>> my first reaction is that it's a solid report. the payroll gains as you mentioned north of 200,000 for the past few months. if you kind of average out some of the dips in these numbers, we're adding jobs at about 190,000 per month this year. that's enough to slowly, steadily bring down the unemployment rate. and we should note that the decline in unemployment from 7.3% to 7%, some of the months we talked about falling unemployment has been because people have left the job market. they've given up hope of finding jobs. last month they came into the labor market, they found jobs. so a solid report for sure. >> as we look at the reaction from the right on this, speaker boehner said today's report includes positive signs that should discourage calls for more stimulus. and eric cantor saying our nation needs even more robust and reliable job growth. and then a statement from the rnc reads in part i'm glad to
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see some americans found jobs last month but there's still too many that can't find work no matter how hard they look. so i know one month does not a trend make. so when do we get to look at a trend moving in the positive direction here? is it because we have two months of economic -- no? >> the point that i was making earlier was that there's no question that we have a trend that's moving in a positive direction. if you look over the 11 months we now have data for this year, we've added 190,000 jobs per month. not great. certainly moderate. but steady as she goes. and a solid number. again, that will slowly bring the unemployment rate down. too slowslowly, but it will do . the thing that's confusing as you listen to the quotes just made, some people saying the job market is getting better therefore we don't need to extend unemployment. yet there are people that can't find a job. and it seems to be the latter is true in the following sense.
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the job market is improving, that doesn't mean it is healed. if you actually look at the share of the labor force who have been unemployed for at least half a year so the long-term unemployment rate. that's 2.6%. that's double the rate that it's been in the past when congress has allowed extended unemployment insurance to expire. so basically going on those kinds of observations, you would want to extend unemployment insurance a bit longer. >> all right. the other topic i want to hit with you quickly is we understand kentucky senator rand paul is in detroit now. he's going to be there because he's helping open a new outreach office there. but in about an hour from now, he's going to unveil this economic plan for this financially struggling city which focuses on tax cuts in lieu of government stimulus programs. we know now because a federal judge said because it is a city that's eligible to file nor chapter 9. so is this part of the trip clearly a political one to
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wrangle more votes towards the republican party. but is rand paul a true economic crusader like detroit needs? >> he's not the crusader that detroit needs right now. if you cut away from a lot of the flash, what you're looking at here is a good old trickle down economics. the idea is if you cut taxes for those at the top of the scale, you're going to generate enough economic activity to provide employment opportunities for everybody else. that has not worked on a national scale, and it's going to be particularly i think fool hearted in a place like detroit which actually needs support. not permanent, not forever, but to just get back on its feet. i think that's quite clear if you look at what the city's been going through. >> jared bernstein former chief economist for vice president joe biden. thank you, sir. >> thank you. coming up next, we return to our coverage the life and legacy of nelson mandela.
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joining me will be martin luther king iii. we'll talk about his father and mandela and the ongoing fight for rights. stay with us. [ bells dinging ] ♪ hark how the bells, sweet silver bells ♪ ♪ all seem to say throw care away ♪ ♪ from everywhere, filling the air ♪ [ female announcer ] chex party mix. easy 15-minute homemade recipes you just pop in a microwave. like caramel chocolate drizzles. happier holidays. chex party mix.
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welcome back, everybody. just wanted to pass this along, official word from the white house that the president and first lady will be traveling to south africa next week to pay their respects and to honor the memory of nelson mandela participating in the memorial events taking place there. it was yesterday announced by south african president zuma on the 15th of december they will remember nelson mandela. >> let us pause and give thanks for the fact that nelson mandela lived. a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice. >> that was president obama when
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he was reflecting on the life of nelson mandela yesterday, the unwavering fight towards eradicating injustice. part of the remarks borrowed from a longer phrase used by dr. martin luther king, jr., in a 1958 article and later in 1964 during a college commencement speech. nelson mandela and dr. king never met. the slain civil rights leader closely watched what was going on in africa and inspired by him. joining me now the son of martin luther king, jr. it's great to have you with me, sir. your mom and your sister bernice, they all traveled with you as you attended the inauguration of mandela. tell us what it was like, that kind of impact that was had on you and your family in 1994 and what that meant knowing the history you were coming from here in america. >> first, i would say thank you for the opportunity. as we mourn this loss for our
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world. but i remember in 1986 actually protesting at the south african embassy along with my mother and sister where we were arrested. of course, in 1994 going to south africa twice, on two occasions, one during the electoral process and, of course, for the inauguration, which was, of course, a celebration, which was really, in a sense, earth shattering to see the first african head of state of that wonderful country who really taught us about the power of forgiveness. that is what i believe president mandela represented. that is what the legacy will be about. teaching our world, how can we learn to forgive more so we can create a more perfect union.
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>> you said mandela was a statement of dignity for the african decent. his long walk to freedom, mr. mandela's constant fight for equality personified what my father often said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. we showed briefly a second ago in new york city the apollo theatre marquis honors mandela. mayor bookberg announced he'll open a high school in honor of mandela. how much impact do you think mandela's life and times have on the civil rights movement and certainly during '80s and '90s when advocates demanded sanctions against apartheid in south africa. >> how much did it have? >> how much did it raise the credibility? >> tremendously. the fact the united states came on board. fortunately the united states came on board. it might have been a little late some would say.
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if you looked at other country they had come on board much earlier. what the united states did, students and universities started to say we want to divest our holdings in south africa. that was huge. when you impact a nation economically, then the community has to pay attention. business had to pay attention and say maybe these policies of apartheid aren't good for our country. we must change this. so the united states played a huge role, particularly students around our nation. >> martin luther king iii. sir, thanks for taking time for me. my best to you and your family. >> thank you. >> we wanted to use our question today to give your thoughts about nelson mandela's passing. we asked how you would remember his legacy. he should be remembered by how he forgave those who hurt him. he was a man of grace. every time i saw him i wish our u.s. politicians could be like him. i will remember his greatness,
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humility, his ability to reach out, his ability to forgive those who imprisoned him. an example we can live by. we encourage you to continue the conversation on twitter and facebook. that's going to wrap things up for me. now alex wagner coming your way. hi, alex. >> hi, thomas. we are honoring life, legacy of nelson mandela. we will discuss mandela's political impact with congressman james clyburn, get thoughts on his legacy nobel peace prize laureate and speak about his influence on civil rights. all that when "now" starts right after this. which rewards her for responsibly managing her card balance. before receiving $25 toward her balance each quarter for making more than her minimum payment on time each month. tracey got the bankamericard better balance rewards credit card, which fits nicely with everything else in life she has to balance.
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yesterday nelson mandela, the former president of south africa, who ended apartheid and led the country's peaceful transition to racial equality died at the age of 95 at his holmes home outside of johannesburg. as news of his passing spread throughout south africa last night hundreds of people gathered outside mandela's residence to mourn. the mood quickly shifted to celebration of the life he lived. grief turned to joy until the crowd sang songs and danced until sunrise this morning to mark the remarkable man that led their country. mandela's story when told is almost too much to believe. the south africa he left behind bears little resemblance to the one he inherited, one under extreme oppression for 80 years. 80% of the population ruled by a white minority a country in which people who were not white were forced to carry documents authorizing their presence in restricted areas where race divided public facilities,
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neighborhoods, schools, and train. in his autobiography mandela reflected on his experience growing up under apartheid. an african child born in an africa only hospital taken in africaon only bus, living in africaon only area, ride africaon only bus, train and be stopped any time day or not and asked to produce a pass. his life with regulations that cripple his growth, dim his potential and stunt his life. this was the reality. against that backdrop, mandela would become the man who neerm si -- nearly single handedly changed the fate changing to multi-p dimensional. he was suspended for participation in a